Should public service media rely on their own platforms or on third-party platforms to reach audiences? Are we ready for a world where television and radio are primarily or even exclusively distributed via IP-based networks? And how much control over the distribution infrastructure could or should PSM have in such a world? While the answers are not straightforward, participants at this week's HORIZONS 2023 left Geneva much better equipped to consider these questions in the context of their respective organizations.

The first day of the event featured presentations across diverse topics related to media distribution and platforms. The videos of these presentations are now available to EBU Members and event attendees. Highlights included Eleanor Van Heyningen providing an insight into the future of distribution at an all-digital BBC; Léo Marti explaining how the success of SRG SSR's Play Suisse platform owes much to the design-led process; Tomas Granryd presenting Sveriges Radio's latest research on how people consume audio in cars, the location for 50% of listening in Sweden; and Fabio Graglia showing how Italy's Rai Way has been testing the capabilities of 5G Broadcast across a range of media use cases.

Focused conversations

There was a change of pace on the second day of the event, with participants joining a series of smaller, focused conversations based on an agenda co-created that morning. The format is known as an unconference. At any one time there were up to four discussions happening in parallel, each one hosted by an event participant who had pitched a particular question or problem to be discussed. Here's a small sample of the session titles:

  • Prominence and findability in an app world
  • Large language models – chat and search for PSM
  • How to reach audiences when access ISPs charge tolls
  • DVB-I: what are the end-user use cases?
  • Resilience and sustainability – use of energy and the art of turning things off
  • Playbook on third-party platforms for PSMs
  • Massively multilingual broadcasting: could we? Should we?

The unconference format, which is a new approach for EBU events, seems to be greatly appreciated by participants. In comments submitted after the event, one said: "First time for me participating in this format; I thought it worked really well and learned a lot from hearing the various contributions to the sessions." Also commenting on the unconference, another said: "Genuinely useful and insightful discussions were had."

Short reports on all of the unconference sessions are available to EBU Members here. (Login required.)

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